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THE STATE OF
COMMUNITY
MANAGEMENT
2018
Communities Accelerate
Organizational Transformation
The cloud-based inSided platform for self-service &
commerce combines AI with the human power of
your own customer community and provides your
customers with relevant answers wherever they are
in the customer journey by integrating communi-
ty (content) easily in search, product and support
pages as well as apps and software.
https://www.insided.com/
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
Breezio is an innovative, content-driven online com-
munity platform. We deliver unique collaboration
and learning management capabilities. We are not
just a platform! With our decades of knowledge
and expertise, we can also guide your strategy. We
make sure you get the most out of your community.
http://bit.ly/2qYLw85
Higher Logic is an industry leader in cloud-based
community platforms. Organizations worldwide
use Higher Logic to bring people all together, by
giving their community a home where they can in-
teract, share ideas, answer questions and stay con-
nected. Our goal is to help your organization with
deeper engagement and meaningful interactions
for your customers.
https://www.higherlogic.com
Igloo is the leading next-generation intranet plat-
form. Through its portfolio of digital workplace
solutions, Igloo enables customers to address chal-
lenges related to communication, collaboration,
knowledge management, employee engagement,
and culture. Igloo integrates with the apps and sys-
tems businesses relies on and centralizes informa-
tion for a more productive and engaged workforce.
https://www.igloosoftware.com
Vanilla Forums provides an enterprise cloud-based
community software used by top brands to better
engage customers, drive loyalty, empower advo-
cates and reduce support costs.
http://links.vanillaforums.com/theCR2018.
Create engaging communities and connected dig-
ital experiences with the world’s #1 CRM platform.
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100% control of their online brand experience with
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edge Management and Intelligent Virtual Assistants
improve customer engagement, reduces support
costs, strengthens customer loyalty, and increases
sales.
https://www.telligent.com
Igloo is the leading next-generation intranet platform – we call
it a digital workplace. Our Solutions as a Service model helps
customers to address challenges related to communication,
collaboration, knowledge management, employee engagement,
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Your people.
Your process.
Your information.
Your digital workplace.
Copyright 2008-2018 Igloo Inc
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 5 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
The data published in this report was collected
from 383 community programs between January
and March 2018.
As in all of previous reports, members of TheCR
Network helped shape the research survey and
approach through a working group. Every year,
a working group of members helps us define the
research scope, identifies opportunities to dig
more deeply, provides feedback on the research
instrument, and then helps us prioritize the data
points that are the most valuable to practitioners.
This collaboration has allowed us to continually
improve the scope, delivery, and depth of the
research.
The Community Roundtable research team
collaborated with the TheCR Network SOCM
working group to develop a comprehensive survey
that would measure what and how community
The State of
Community Management
Quantifying the Value of Community
With support from:
Tactics:
Defining What Matters
in Community
Tactics:
Measuring the Artifacts of
Successful Communities
Operations:
Benchmarking Community,
Defining Value
Strategy:
Impact on
Organizations
Strategy:
Impact on Markets
2009 2014 2019
The Community Roundtable’s Research:
Documenting and Defining the Value of Communities and Community Management
practitioners think and feel about their place in the
community space at this current time. Once the
survey was opened, it was shared within TheCR’s
and TheCR Network SOCM working group’s circles
and our team encouraged those who took the
survey to share it within their circles as well.
This led to a self-selected group of survey
respondents, and our demographics reflect that.
This survey does not necessarily reflect overall
industry trends, but it does show and explain what
this portion of the community management space
is experiencing.
Once the survey was closed, TheCR’s research
team conducted data cleaning and analysis and
collaborated with TheCR Network SOCM working
group to discuss trends and key findings. The
product of that collaboration is the report that you
are reading right now.
These reports are available for download for The Community Roundtable’s members and clients.
METHODOLOGY
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 6 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Table of Contents
	Executive Summary 	
	Welcome to the State of Community Management 2018
Introduction to the Report
Demographics
What’s Next for Communities
About this Report
7
8
18
24
12
30
31
9
10
CONCLUSION
INTRODUCTION TO THIS RESEARCH
KEY FINDINGS
Communities are Change Agents
Communities Generate Transformational Value
Community Teams are Underfunded
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 7 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Executive Summary
Communities are key mechanisms that accelerate organizational transformation. The impact of
communities is broad and deep, addressing strategic, functional, and individual performance by
making knowledge transparent and easy to access.
This ninth State of Community Management report includes data from 383 companies that
represent a variety of industries as well as both internal and external communities. The research
demonstrates the success community programs are having and identifies a key disconnect
between that success and securing needed resources to extend the potential of the community
approach.
KEY FINDINGS
The research confirmed that:
•	 Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions,
stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents
of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and
their markets.
•	 Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI
that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and
revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and
cultural sentiment.
•	 Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to
increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and
support. This is limiting impact.
Community programs are not reaching their full potential to impact strategic goals and
transformation due to a lack of resources coming from the executive level.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on these key findings, we recommend that organizations:
•	 Invest in integrating community approaches into any process where information flow is
critical.
•	 Conduct an assessment of what the community program needs to reach its full potential,
while also identifying major roadblocks that are unique to the organization and its market.
•	 Fund the acquisition of business skills for community program teams so that strategies are
aligned with organizational goals and success is reported in meaningful ways.
•	 Allocate resources to community programs for developing comprehensive strategies,
aligning strategies with metrics, and supporting execution.
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 8 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Welcome to The State of Community
Management 2018 Report
Over the nine years that The Community Roundtable (TheCR) has published this report, commu-
nity management has progressed from an undocumented niche role to a strategic profession and
a recognized leadership discipline in a digitally connected world. It has been awesome and ex-
citing to watch the profession “grow up” and become acknowledged as a critical, emerging field.
The State of Community Management (SOCM) research has evolved with the industry, moving
from qualitative to quantitative. Initially, the research focused on the practices and tactics of com-
munity management (2010-2014) and then progressed to exploring and quantifying the opera-
tional approaches needed to do community management well (2015-2017).
What community management is and how it is effectively executed have now largely been docu-
mented. This year, we are transitioning the research yet again and focusing on the strategic impact
communities have and how they support key business goals.
The results are compelling.
Communities impact every facet of organizational life, from empowering individual contributors
to generating strategic value. We can now back up the theory of communities with proof that
communities make learning, influencing, and adapting into core competencies and also provide
the means to integrate these competencies into workflows.
Behind this success is the growing number of people that choose community management as a
profession. They are vanguards of this new field, learning as they execute, and showing the world
why and how communities are so powerful. For years, community professionals have been op-
erating in the background, using their influence and skills to help communities engage and lead
in new ways. We learn together with many of these professionals every day in TheCR Network,
and we are particularly grateful for this year’s SOCM Working Group, who helped re-imagine this
research for a new challenge: communicating and translating the power of communities to exec-
utive stakeholders.
It’s said that you should never ask a question that you don’t want to know the answer to, so testing
our theories of how communities were impacting organizations felt slightly nerve-wracking. How-
ever, we know from our client work that many communities are creating exponential value, even if
some are not. What we discovered through this research was a depth and breadth of impact that
surprised even us. Community approaches are more integrated and generate more cross-func-
tional value than we had imagined. They are positively impacting culture and brand sentiment,
and executives are overwhelmingly supportive.
The multifaceted success of communities should give both community professionals and their
stakeholders the confidence to move forward boldly, using community approaches as the back-
bone for the future of their organizations.
Rachel Happe	 Jim Storer
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 9 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Introduction to the Report
This year, we explored three key themes based on market trends:
1.	 Are communities acting as change agents in organizations?
2.	 Can community programs create transformational value?
3.	 How is the role of community management evolving?
We found remarkable results, but also troubling disconnects that limit how impactful communities could be.
Together, these trends capture what we see anecdotally in the community space: a lot of success, yet even
more potential.
The breadth and depth of community impact
at strategic, operational, and individual levels
reflects the power of community approaches. It’s
exciting to see how widespread the interest, use,
and impact of communities are and how often
communities empower individuals to seek out their
own success. Executives are now largely supportive
and community programs are getting the attention
of both C-level executives and boards of directors.
The promise of community approaches is being
fulfilled; they are exerting impact and changing
every aspect of organizations, from strategy to
processes to individuals. We no longer operate on
theory or faith; the value of communities can be
documented and measured.
So why are community professionals not thriving?
Nearly half of community professionals report
significant stress or burnout. This is striking given
their success. It also creates strategic risk as
communities become more integral to the success
of their organizations.
We believe that this stress is due to community
budgets and hiring that have not kept pace with
the impact and growth of community programs,
forcing community professionals to take on more
responsibilities without additional resources or
support. At the same time, overloaded community
professionals report to higher levels within their
organization without the additional business skills
and experience to be effective advocates.
Executives are supportive, but they are clearly not
getting the hard numbers and budget requests
in a way that they need to invest confidently. This
turns into a circuitous problem that is hard to break.
Without additional business skills on the community
team, the return on investment (ROI) and budget
numbers cannot be developed, but without ROI and
budget numbers, executives can’t justify additional
resources. Complicating this picture is the hard-
won experience of community professionals who
have always made do with frugal budgets and don’t
always know what exactly they can ask for.
LOST POTENTIAL IS A BIG OPPORTUNITY
The disconnect between success and support
suggests that organizations are missing the
opportunity to do more – and more quickly. While
communities are laying the foundation to generate
exponential value, they are also constrained due
to a lack of community management and business
resources.
Community management resources are needed
to help individuals and functional departments
optimize the use of new technology and work in
new ways. Business resources are needed to ensure
that community value is captured, measured,
and communicated in ways that are meaningful
to the business and result in the support that the
community management teams need.
Overall, this year’s State of Community Management
research demonstrates how effectively community
approaches deliver on complex business objectives
and how much more support community program
teams need to ensure that these approaches deliver
on organizational transformation goals effectively
as well as critically communicate their success.
Introduction to the Findings
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 10 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Demographics
Communities that participated in the State of Community Management 2018 represent external,
internal, and those that are identified as both external and internal use cases, as well as a wide range
of industries. These community programs ranged in age from pre-launch to a handful that were over
20 years old. The following demographics break down the respondent sample for the 2018 survey.
Community Age	 Community Membership
Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7%
Education - 6%
Energy - 1%
Financial Services - 6%
Government/Public Administration - 4%
Health Care and Social Services - 7%
High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36%
Manufacturing - 4%
Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5%
Nonprofits - 13%
Pharmaceuticals - <1%
Retail - 3%
Transportation - 1%
Other - 6%
36%
7%
4%
6%
6%
7%6%
13%
5%
4%
<1%
1%
1%3% 0-49
50-99
100-499
500-999
1,000-4,999
5,000-9,999
10,000-49,999
50,000+
12%
20%
11%
17%
8%
13%
5%
14%
Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7%
Education - 6%
Energy - 1%
Financial Services - 6%
Government/Public Administration - 4%
Health Care and Social Services - 7%
High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36%
Manufacturing - 4%
Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5%
Nonprofits - 13%
Pharmaceuticals - <1%
Retail - 3%
Transportation - 1%
Other - 6%
36%
7%
4%
6%
6%
7%6%
13%
5%
4%
<1%
1%
1%3% 0-49
50-99
100-499
500-999
1,000-4,999
5,000-9,999
10,000-49,999
50,000+
12%
20%
11%
17%
8%
13%
5%
14%
Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7%
Education - 6%
Energy - 1%
Financial Services - 6%
Government/Public Administration - 4%
Health Care and Social Services - 7%
High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36%
Manufacturing - 4%
Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5%
Nonprofits - 13%
Pharmaceuticals - <1%
Retail - 3%
Transportation - 1%
Other - 6%
36%
7%
4%
6%
6%
7%6%
13%
5%
4%
<1%
1%
1%3% 0-49
50-99
100-499
500-999
1,000-4,999
5,000-9,999
10,000-49,999
50,000+
12%
20%
11%
17%
8%
13%
5%
14%
The relative distribution of industries represented in the
sample has remained similar to 2017. Those identifying as
High Tech and Nonprofits continue to have the highest
representation at nearly 50% of the sample.
Newer communities (between pre-launch and 1 year of age)
form 49% of the sample. Communities older than 8 years of
age also form a significant part of the sample at 18%. This has
increased from previous years, indicating that communities
are starting and flourishing within organizations.
Similar to in previous years, the
organizations represented are well
distributed between small, medium,
and large categories based on
number of employees.
Pre-launch
Less than 1 year
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years
7 years
8 years
9 years
10-19 years
20+ years
11%
20%
16%
13%9%
8%
6%
5%
2%
2% 2%
3%
3%
50,000-99,999
100,000-999,999
1,000,000 or more
0%
7%
2%
9%
16%
Pre-launch
Less than 1 year
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years
7 years
8 years
9 years
10-19 years
20+ years
11%
20%
16%
13%9%
8%
6%
5%
2%
2% 2%
3%
3%
0-499
Internal External
1,000-9,999
500-999
10,000-49,999
50,000-99,999
100,000-999,999
1,000,000 or more
0%
7%
2%
20%
42%
14%
16%
9%
16%
7%
28%
25%
7%
8%
Industry 	 Organization Size
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 11 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Overall
ExternalInternal
Other
Corporate Initiative
Community of Practice
Community of Interest
Collaboration
Other
Networking/Shared Interest
Product Innovation
Community of Practice
Marketing
Customer Support
6%5%
19%
46%
6%
24%
25%
4%
23%
8%
34%52%
19%
29%
External Internal Both
JiveN/Aurea
JiveX (Owned by Lithium)
Lithium
Salesforce
Higher Logic
Facebook: Groups
IBM Connections
Discourse
Yammer/Microsoft
Twitter
Telligent
Slack
Sharepoint/Microsoft
LinkedIn
Facebook: Workplace by Facebook
Drupal
Other*
Custom Platform
12.1%
9.7%
9.5%
8.3%
7.3%
6.9%
4%
3.3%
2.8%
2.1%
1.2%
1.9%
2.1%
1.4%
1.2%
1.7%
19.5%
4.7% *”Other” also includes platforms like Atlassian, Breezio, Igloo,
inSided, SAP, SocialCast/VMWire, Socious, and Vanilla Forums
We asked respondents to select their primary community platform. This data comes from the self-
selected research sample and may not reflect the market as a whole.
Community Audience and Use Case
Overall
External Internal
Other
Corporate Initiative
Community of Practice
Community of Interest
Collaboration
Other
Networking/Shared Interest
Product Innovation
Community of Practice
Marketing
Customer Support
6% 5%
19%
46%
6%
24%
25%
4%
23%
8%
34% 52%
19%
29%
External Internal Both
Primary Community Platforms
THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 12 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM
Supporting
cross-functional
integration
Becoming key enablers
to organizations
Communities are impacting every aspect of organizations
While 57% report a roadmap is part of
their community strategy...
70% don't have a business
problem defined in their strategy.
Integrating into
workflows Consulting on a Project
Community
Responsibilities
52%
Community Engagement
as Performance Goal
43%
Ongoing Community
Management Support
Coaching Inquiries
70%
47%
32%
REQUESTS RECEIVED FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS:
% PEOPLE EXTERNAL TO COMMUNITY TEAMS WITH:
70% experience a positive
impact on organizational
culture / brand
50% expect an
increase in
workflows
Communities create multifaceted value
70% of executives are supportive.
71% say their
members are
providing
solutions &
answers
30% help
community
members take
leadership
initiatives
71% experience
an increase in
individual
empowerment
Communities have potential to increase impact
Case deflection:
60%
in customer support workflow
Productivity:
59%
in learning & development
workflow
Communication
efficiency:
76%
in knowledge workflow
Loyalty and retention:
66%
in marketing workflow
Communities help increase:
© 2018 The Community Roundtable
Communities are
Change Agents
For	the	full	State	of	Community	Management	2018	
report,	including:	
	
• A	deep	dive	into	three	key	community	management	
themes	
o Communities	Are	Change	
Agents	
o Communities	Generate	
Transformational	Value	
o Community	Teams	Are	
Underfunded	
	
• Infographics	that	consolidate	
each	key	theme	for	quick	
and	easy-to-read	briefs	
	
• Recommendations	for	how	
to	discuss	getting	your	community	to	
the	next	level	and	secure	needed	resources	from	
executives,	stakeholders,	and	wider	organizational	
decision-makers	
	
	
Download	the	full	SOCM	2018	at:	http://the.cr/socm2018
We are the world’s leading source for community
management research, training, and services.
The Community Roundtable has spent close to a decade at the forefront of
the community management industry. Using the industry’s only comprehensive
research — The State of Community Management — as a framework, we help global
organizations define, launch, manage and measure their community initiatives.
ACCELERATING COMMUNITY SUCCESS
“Getting my team involved with The Community Roundtable
has provided incredible ROI, giving them access to research,
content, and information they can’t find anywhere else.”
J.J. Lovett, Director of Community, CA Technologies
www.communityroundtable.com
Successful brands trust The Community Roundtable for
everything from strategy consulting to on-demand training
to full service, embedded community management.
How can we help YOU?
36
Connect with us:
Web: http://communityroundtable.com
Email: info@communityroundtable.com
TheCR Academy: http://the.cr/TheCRAcademy

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The State of Community Management 2018

  • 1. With support from: THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 Communities Accelerate Organizational Transformation
  • 2.
  • 3. The cloud-based inSided platform for self-service & commerce combines AI with the human power of your own customer community and provides your customers with relevant answers wherever they are in the customer journey by integrating communi- ty (content) easily in search, product and support pages as well as apps and software. https://www.insided.com/ ABOUT OUR PARTNERS Breezio is an innovative, content-driven online com- munity platform. We deliver unique collaboration and learning management capabilities. We are not just a platform! With our decades of knowledge and expertise, we can also guide your strategy. We make sure you get the most out of your community. http://bit.ly/2qYLw85 Higher Logic is an industry leader in cloud-based community platforms. Organizations worldwide use Higher Logic to bring people all together, by giving their community a home where they can in- teract, share ideas, answer questions and stay con- nected. Our goal is to help your organization with deeper engagement and meaningful interactions for your customers. https://www.higherlogic.com Igloo is the leading next-generation intranet plat- form. Through its portfolio of digital workplace solutions, Igloo enables customers to address chal- lenges related to communication, collaboration, knowledge management, employee engagement, and culture. Igloo integrates with the apps and sys- tems businesses relies on and centralizes informa- tion for a more productive and engaged workforce. https://www.igloosoftware.com Vanilla Forums provides an enterprise cloud-based community software used by top brands to better engage customers, drive loyalty, empower advo- cates and reduce support costs. http://links.vanillaforums.com/theCR2018. Create engaging communities and connected dig- ital experiences with the world’s #1 CRM platform. https://sforce.co/2jo2APD FEATURED PREMIUM Telligent, a Verint company, gives organizations 100% control of their online brand experience with social collaboration and Intelligent Self-Service tools that drive real business results. Online Com- munity, Social Listening and Engagement, Knowl- edge Management and Intelligent Virtual Assistants improve customer engagement, reduces support costs, strengthens customer loyalty, and increases sales. https://www.telligent.com
  • 4. Igloo is the leading next-generation intranet platform – we call it a digital workplace. Our Solutions as a Service model helps customers to address challenges related to communication, collaboration, knowledge management, employee engagement, and culture. It’s time to improve the way you work. Discover Igloo. igloosoftware.com/demo Your people. Your process. Your information. Your digital workplace. Copyright 2008-2018 Igloo Inc
  • 5. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 5 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM The data published in this report was collected from 383 community programs between January and March 2018. As in all of previous reports, members of TheCR Network helped shape the research survey and approach through a working group. Every year, a working group of members helps us define the research scope, identifies opportunities to dig more deeply, provides feedback on the research instrument, and then helps us prioritize the data points that are the most valuable to practitioners. This collaboration has allowed us to continually improve the scope, delivery, and depth of the research. The Community Roundtable research team collaborated with the TheCR Network SOCM working group to develop a comprehensive survey that would measure what and how community The State of Community Management Quantifying the Value of Community With support from: Tactics: Defining What Matters in Community Tactics: Measuring the Artifacts of Successful Communities Operations: Benchmarking Community, Defining Value Strategy: Impact on Organizations Strategy: Impact on Markets 2009 2014 2019 The Community Roundtable’s Research: Documenting and Defining the Value of Communities and Community Management practitioners think and feel about their place in the community space at this current time. Once the survey was opened, it was shared within TheCR’s and TheCR Network SOCM working group’s circles and our team encouraged those who took the survey to share it within their circles as well. This led to a self-selected group of survey respondents, and our demographics reflect that. This survey does not necessarily reflect overall industry trends, but it does show and explain what this portion of the community management space is experiencing. Once the survey was closed, TheCR’s research team conducted data cleaning and analysis and collaborated with TheCR Network SOCM working group to discuss trends and key findings. The product of that collaboration is the report that you are reading right now. These reports are available for download for The Community Roundtable’s members and clients. METHODOLOGY
  • 6. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 6 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Table of Contents Executive Summary Welcome to the State of Community Management 2018 Introduction to the Report Demographics What’s Next for Communities About this Report 7 8 18 24 12 30 31 9 10 CONCLUSION INTRODUCTION TO THIS RESEARCH KEY FINDINGS Communities are Change Agents Communities Generate Transformational Value Community Teams are Underfunded
  • 7. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 7 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Executive Summary Communities are key mechanisms that accelerate organizational transformation. The impact of communities is broad and deep, addressing strategic, functional, and individual performance by making knowledge transparent and easy to access. This ninth State of Community Management report includes data from 383 companies that represent a variety of industries as well as both internal and external communities. The research demonstrates the success community programs are having and identifies a key disconnect between that success and securing needed resources to extend the potential of the community approach. KEY FINDINGS The research confirmed that: • Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions, stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and their markets. • Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and cultural sentiment. • Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and support. This is limiting impact. Community programs are not reaching their full potential to impact strategic goals and transformation due to a lack of resources coming from the executive level. RECOMMENDATIONS Based on these key findings, we recommend that organizations: • Invest in integrating community approaches into any process where information flow is critical. • Conduct an assessment of what the community program needs to reach its full potential, while also identifying major roadblocks that are unique to the organization and its market. • Fund the acquisition of business skills for community program teams so that strategies are aligned with organizational goals and success is reported in meaningful ways. • Allocate resources to community programs for developing comprehensive strategies, aligning strategies with metrics, and supporting execution.
  • 8. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 8 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Welcome to The State of Community Management 2018 Report Over the nine years that The Community Roundtable (TheCR) has published this report, commu- nity management has progressed from an undocumented niche role to a strategic profession and a recognized leadership discipline in a digitally connected world. It has been awesome and ex- citing to watch the profession “grow up” and become acknowledged as a critical, emerging field. The State of Community Management (SOCM) research has evolved with the industry, moving from qualitative to quantitative. Initially, the research focused on the practices and tactics of com- munity management (2010-2014) and then progressed to exploring and quantifying the opera- tional approaches needed to do community management well (2015-2017). What community management is and how it is effectively executed have now largely been docu- mented. This year, we are transitioning the research yet again and focusing on the strategic impact communities have and how they support key business goals. The results are compelling. Communities impact every facet of organizational life, from empowering individual contributors to generating strategic value. We can now back up the theory of communities with proof that communities make learning, influencing, and adapting into core competencies and also provide the means to integrate these competencies into workflows. Behind this success is the growing number of people that choose community management as a profession. They are vanguards of this new field, learning as they execute, and showing the world why and how communities are so powerful. For years, community professionals have been op- erating in the background, using their influence and skills to help communities engage and lead in new ways. We learn together with many of these professionals every day in TheCR Network, and we are particularly grateful for this year’s SOCM Working Group, who helped re-imagine this research for a new challenge: communicating and translating the power of communities to exec- utive stakeholders. It’s said that you should never ask a question that you don’t want to know the answer to, so testing our theories of how communities were impacting organizations felt slightly nerve-wracking. How- ever, we know from our client work that many communities are creating exponential value, even if some are not. What we discovered through this research was a depth and breadth of impact that surprised even us. Community approaches are more integrated and generate more cross-func- tional value than we had imagined. They are positively impacting culture and brand sentiment, and executives are overwhelmingly supportive. The multifaceted success of communities should give both community professionals and their stakeholders the confidence to move forward boldly, using community approaches as the back- bone for the future of their organizations. Rachel Happe Jim Storer
  • 9. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 9 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Introduction to the Report This year, we explored three key themes based on market trends: 1. Are communities acting as change agents in organizations? 2. Can community programs create transformational value? 3. How is the role of community management evolving? We found remarkable results, but also troubling disconnects that limit how impactful communities could be. Together, these trends capture what we see anecdotally in the community space: a lot of success, yet even more potential. The breadth and depth of community impact at strategic, operational, and individual levels reflects the power of community approaches. It’s exciting to see how widespread the interest, use, and impact of communities are and how often communities empower individuals to seek out their own success. Executives are now largely supportive and community programs are getting the attention of both C-level executives and boards of directors. The promise of community approaches is being fulfilled; they are exerting impact and changing every aspect of organizations, from strategy to processes to individuals. We no longer operate on theory or faith; the value of communities can be documented and measured. So why are community professionals not thriving? Nearly half of community professionals report significant stress or burnout. This is striking given their success. It also creates strategic risk as communities become more integral to the success of their organizations. We believe that this stress is due to community budgets and hiring that have not kept pace with the impact and growth of community programs, forcing community professionals to take on more responsibilities without additional resources or support. At the same time, overloaded community professionals report to higher levels within their organization without the additional business skills and experience to be effective advocates. Executives are supportive, but they are clearly not getting the hard numbers and budget requests in a way that they need to invest confidently. This turns into a circuitous problem that is hard to break. Without additional business skills on the community team, the return on investment (ROI) and budget numbers cannot be developed, but without ROI and budget numbers, executives can’t justify additional resources. Complicating this picture is the hard- won experience of community professionals who have always made do with frugal budgets and don’t always know what exactly they can ask for. LOST POTENTIAL IS A BIG OPPORTUNITY The disconnect between success and support suggests that organizations are missing the opportunity to do more – and more quickly. While communities are laying the foundation to generate exponential value, they are also constrained due to a lack of community management and business resources. Community management resources are needed to help individuals and functional departments optimize the use of new technology and work in new ways. Business resources are needed to ensure that community value is captured, measured, and communicated in ways that are meaningful to the business and result in the support that the community management teams need. Overall, this year’s State of Community Management research demonstrates how effectively community approaches deliver on complex business objectives and how much more support community program teams need to ensure that these approaches deliver on organizational transformation goals effectively as well as critically communicate their success. Introduction to the Findings
  • 10. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 10 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Demographics Communities that participated in the State of Community Management 2018 represent external, internal, and those that are identified as both external and internal use cases, as well as a wide range of industries. These community programs ranged in age from pre-launch to a handful that were over 20 years old. The following demographics break down the respondent sample for the 2018 survey. Community Age Community Membership Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7% Education - 6% Energy - 1% Financial Services - 6% Government/Public Administration - 4% Health Care and Social Services - 7% High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36% Manufacturing - 4% Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5% Nonprofits - 13% Pharmaceuticals - <1% Retail - 3% Transportation - 1% Other - 6% 36% 7% 4% 6% 6% 7%6% 13% 5% 4% <1% 1% 1%3% 0-49 50-99 100-499 500-999 1,000-4,999 5,000-9,999 10,000-49,999 50,000+ 12% 20% 11% 17% 8% 13% 5% 14% Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7% Education - 6% Energy - 1% Financial Services - 6% Government/Public Administration - 4% Health Care and Social Services - 7% High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36% Manufacturing - 4% Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5% Nonprofits - 13% Pharmaceuticals - <1% Retail - 3% Transportation - 1% Other - 6% 36% 7% 4% 6% 6% 7%6% 13% 5% 4% <1% 1% 1%3% 0-49 50-99 100-499 500-999 1,000-4,999 5,000-9,999 10,000-49,999 50,000+ 12% 20% 11% 17% 8% 13% 5% 14% Business, Legal, and Professional Services - 7% Education - 6% Energy - 1% Financial Services - 6% Government/Public Administration - 4% Health Care and Social Services - 7% High Tech/Telecom/Software - 36% Manufacturing - 4% Media, Entertainment, and Publishing - 5% Nonprofits - 13% Pharmaceuticals - <1% Retail - 3% Transportation - 1% Other - 6% 36% 7% 4% 6% 6% 7%6% 13% 5% 4% <1% 1% 1%3% 0-49 50-99 100-499 500-999 1,000-4,999 5,000-9,999 10,000-49,999 50,000+ 12% 20% 11% 17% 8% 13% 5% 14% The relative distribution of industries represented in the sample has remained similar to 2017. Those identifying as High Tech and Nonprofits continue to have the highest representation at nearly 50% of the sample. Newer communities (between pre-launch and 1 year of age) form 49% of the sample. Communities older than 8 years of age also form a significant part of the sample at 18%. This has increased from previous years, indicating that communities are starting and flourishing within organizations. Similar to in previous years, the organizations represented are well distributed between small, medium, and large categories based on number of employees. Pre-launch Less than 1 year 1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10-19 years 20+ years 11% 20% 16% 13%9% 8% 6% 5% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 50,000-99,999 100,000-999,999 1,000,000 or more 0% 7% 2% 9% 16% Pre-launch Less than 1 year 1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years 6 years 7 years 8 years 9 years 10-19 years 20+ years 11% 20% 16% 13%9% 8% 6% 5% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 0-499 Internal External 1,000-9,999 500-999 10,000-49,999 50,000-99,999 100,000-999,999 1,000,000 or more 0% 7% 2% 20% 42% 14% 16% 9% 16% 7% 28% 25% 7% 8% Industry Organization Size
  • 11. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 11 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Overall ExternalInternal Other Corporate Initiative Community of Practice Community of Interest Collaboration Other Networking/Shared Interest Product Innovation Community of Practice Marketing Customer Support 6%5% 19% 46% 6% 24% 25% 4% 23% 8% 34%52% 19% 29% External Internal Both JiveN/Aurea JiveX (Owned by Lithium) Lithium Salesforce Higher Logic Facebook: Groups IBM Connections Discourse Yammer/Microsoft Twitter Telligent Slack Sharepoint/Microsoft LinkedIn Facebook: Workplace by Facebook Drupal Other* Custom Platform 12.1% 9.7% 9.5% 8.3% 7.3% 6.9% 4% 3.3% 2.8% 2.1% 1.2% 1.9% 2.1% 1.4% 1.2% 1.7% 19.5% 4.7% *”Other” also includes platforms like Atlassian, Breezio, Igloo, inSided, SAP, SocialCast/VMWire, Socious, and Vanilla Forums We asked respondents to select their primary community platform. This data comes from the self- selected research sample and may not reflect the market as a whole. Community Audience and Use Case Overall External Internal Other Corporate Initiative Community of Practice Community of Interest Collaboration Other Networking/Shared Interest Product Innovation Community of Practice Marketing Customer Support 6% 5% 19% 46% 6% 24% 25% 4% 23% 8% 34% 52% 19% 29% External Internal Both Primary Community Platforms
  • 12. THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 12 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM Supporting cross-functional integration Becoming key enablers to organizations Communities are impacting every aspect of organizations While 57% report a roadmap is part of their community strategy... 70% don't have a business problem defined in their strategy. Integrating into workflows Consulting on a Project Community Responsibilities 52% Community Engagement as Performance Goal 43% Ongoing Community Management Support Coaching Inquiries 70% 47% 32% REQUESTS RECEIVED FROM OTHER DEPARTMENTS: % PEOPLE EXTERNAL TO COMMUNITY TEAMS WITH: 70% experience a positive impact on organizational culture / brand 50% expect an increase in workflows Communities create multifaceted value 70% of executives are supportive. 71% say their members are providing solutions & answers 30% help community members take leadership initiatives 71% experience an increase in individual empowerment Communities have potential to increase impact Case deflection: 60% in customer support workflow Productivity: 59% in learning & development workflow Communication efficiency: 76% in knowledge workflow Loyalty and retention: 66% in marketing workflow Communities help increase: © 2018 The Community Roundtable Communities are Change Agents
  • 13. For the full State of Community Management 2018 report, including: • A deep dive into three key community management themes o Communities Are Change Agents o Communities Generate Transformational Value o Community Teams Are Underfunded • Infographics that consolidate each key theme for quick and easy-to-read briefs • Recommendations for how to discuss getting your community to the next level and secure needed resources from executives, stakeholders, and wider organizational decision-makers Download the full SOCM 2018 at: http://the.cr/socm2018
  • 14. We are the world’s leading source for community management research, training, and services. The Community Roundtable has spent close to a decade at the forefront of the community management industry. Using the industry’s only comprehensive research — The State of Community Management — as a framework, we help global organizations define, launch, manage and measure their community initiatives. ACCELERATING COMMUNITY SUCCESS “Getting my team involved with The Community Roundtable has provided incredible ROI, giving them access to research, content, and information they can’t find anywhere else.” J.J. Lovett, Director of Community, CA Technologies www.communityroundtable.com Successful brands trust The Community Roundtable for everything from strategy consulting to on-demand training to full service, embedded community management. How can we help YOU?
  • 15. 36 Connect with us: Web: http://communityroundtable.com Email: info@communityroundtable.com TheCR Academy: http://the.cr/TheCRAcademy